Engaging Effectively for Foster Youth

50 Ideas for your Orphan or Stand Sunday

Is your church new to Orphan Sunday or Stand Sunday and you need ideas to create your first event? Or, has your church been doing Orphan Sunday for many years and you need fresh creativity? Either way, this is for you! You will leave this workshop with your hands full of many great, easy to execute, and meaningful ideas that will help to make this event have impact in your church – and for orphans and foster children! Our team will take you through the best ideas from the last 10 years of this amazing movement. Handouts and visuals will be provided to get you started.

(Jodi Jackson Tucker & Michelle Vernon, CAFO)

Aging Out: Post-Secondary Education & Career Development Solutions

The Alliance Aging Out Initiative offers a model bridge for healthy life transitions for youth aging out of the U.S. foster care system & international orphan care. An expert panel will examine a key element of that bridge – career development via post-secondary education, vocational training, and more. We will explore the unique challenges and opportunities in helping young people navigate this vital life and career transition.

(Faciliated by: W. Scott Brown, CAFO. Joined by: Robert Duke, Azusa Pacific University; Wilbert Fobbs, Seed Growth; Rick Burslem, Sunrise Children’s Services; & Trace Thurlby, The Global Orphan Project.)

Both Sides of the Story: Perspectives on Foster and Adoptive Parenting from Parents and their Kids

Much effort is spent on recruiting more foster and adoptive parents. But what are the characteristics of great parenting and how do we help ourselves and others aspire to this greatness? Come engage in a discussion with former foster youth and their foster/adoptive parents to glean the most important lessons they’ve learned.

(Facilitated by: Johnston Moore, Writer, Speaker, & Advocate.  Joined by: Cecil & Boone Stokes, Fost/Adopt Father & Son; Pam & Trent Taylor, Fost/Adopt Mother & Son; Bishop Aaron Blake & Diego Fuller, Fost/Adopt Father & Son.)

Care Community Wrap Around Care

Learn how to launch and maintain Care Communities that serve foster, adoptive, and kinship families – a proven model for retention. Discover how to intentionally serve your families with committed volunteers serving in specific roles.

(Johnna Stein, Promise686)

Church and State Partnerships in Foster Care

Let’s be honest – whether you are a social worker or a member of the faith community, you have a least some reservations about working with “the other side.” Learn from those who have seen great results from these vital partnerships and have lived to tell about it. Hear seasoned veterans talk about initial reservations, successes, and missteps – all of which will help you gain confidence as you move ahead for the sake of the kids. This session is ideal for child welfare professionals, non-profit leaders, and church ministries.

(Tom Lukasik, 4 Kids of South FL; Rhonda Littleton, A Home for Me; Felicia Mason- Edwards, DFPS TX; Ryan Kelly, America’s Kids Belong)

Data as a Tool for Transforming Foster Care Where You Live

Some people think of data merely as numbers. However, data is used everyday to tell stories that mobilize others to step into the lives of hurting people. The data from the communities where you live has the potential to motivate and mobilize church, organizational, and business leaders in your community to transform the foster care experience for thousands of kids and families. Learn how from a team of leaders from organizations that have been doing it for years.

(Bob Bruder-Mattson, FaithBridge Foster Care; Adrien Lewis, GO Project; Michelle Douglas, The CALL)

Discipleship and Foster Care

Even though foster care is not mentioned directly in the Bible, it is one of the greatest opportunities for churches to direct a discipleship making movement. Come learn how a Biblical effort in your church, intentionally targeted at child welfare, can produce those who depend more on Jesus. Intentional experiential pathways of deepening opportunities can help put faith into action – while also seeing a transformation of a community. For child welfare practitioners, come learn from experts in faith engagement on how your desire to get more families from churches can lead to the detriment of what is best for the Church.

(Chris Campbell, 111Project)

Hosting a Respite Night (Coaching Table)

Join this discussion on the challenges we may face and support we should have in place to host a safe and effective Respite Night at your church or ministry.

Coach: Hannah Mabie, LSW, Colonial Presbyterian Church

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

The Actively Engaged Church in Foster Care

You’re leading a foster care ministry in your church and there’s no shortage of opportunities and needs. “What” you are doing is so, so important. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself the question, “How are we doing?” It’s not about activity, it’s about effectiveness. Are we engaging in the right places – in the most impactful places – and is our ministry growing in the most healthy and needed places? These are the questions we will explore together in this workshop – where we’ll unpack six key pillars of what an “actively engaged church” in foster care looks like. You’ll walk away more connected with other leaders like you – more inspired to do the work God has called you to do and more confident in what the next best steps are for your church’s foster care ministry.

(Jason Weber & Jason Johnson, CAFO)

The Nuts and Bolts of Bridge Building in Foster Care

When a group of churches and local organizations start dreaming together about how to help local child welfare transform foster care in a community, often a bridge ministry is born. These ministries navigate the waters between church and state and fill needed gaps in the local foster care landscape. Whether you are part of an existing bridge ministry, or have something brewing in your community, this workshop will expose you to the primary functions of a bridge ministry and the components you should be considering as you grow. Your guides on this journey are experienced leaders helping to run bridge ministries across the country.

(Jason Weber, CAFO; Andrew Holland, Hope Fort Worth; Lauri Currier, The CALL; Philip Pattison, Foster the Bay; Janet Rowland, Project 1.27; Katie O’Dell, AZ 1.27)

Until There’s More Than Enough: What Foster Care Movement Looks Like in Your County

A healthy faith-based local foster care movement involves a lot of different individuals and organizations with a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise. This session will introduce you to the basic philosophies, relationships, and ingredients necessary in local foster care movement building. A team of experts from various entities, who have seen thriving foster care movements start and grow in their own states, will be there to share their insights and answer your questions. This workshop is ideal for child welfare professionals, non-profit leaders, and church ministries.

(Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO. Joined by: Andy Cook, Promise686; Shelly Radic, Project 1.27; Bishop Aaron Blake, Harvest Family Life; Sharen Ford, Focus on the Family; & Kevin Enders, 4KIDS.)